Black History Month Draws to a Close

Black History Month has its roots in the early 1900s, when black groups and associations began to celebrate it in cities across the country, typically for about a week. This was long before President Gerald Ford declared February as Black History Month, a tradition every president has followed till the present.

February was chosen primarily because it has two prominent birthdays important to the black community: Fredrick Douglas, a famous abolitionist, and Abraham Lincoln, the President who would go to abolish slavery. But, those are not the only milestones for African-American history that are in February; W. E. B. DuBois was also born in February, along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, which was also founded in February.

Black History Month itself is a celebration of the achievements and work that the African-American community has done throughout the years. Apart of the reason for its creation was because around the 1900s, a black man named Carter G. Woodstock saw that the history books lacked any acknowledgement of the black population. So, Woodstock took it upon himself to form an organization that would start the first black history week.

Today, the form of Black History Month can been seen everywhere. Parades, speeches, awards ceremonies, and documentaries all honoring or detailing the lives of African-Americans or praising black heritage are found. In Savannah, the Black Heritage Festival takes place in February and celebrates the dance, song, and art aspects of Black Heritage while also honoring black members of Savannah’s past and present.

Although it is the end of the month and celebrations are drawing to a close, that does not have to mean the appreciation of black history and black individuals must stop. This also doesn’t just apply to the black community because appreciation of all cultures does not just have to fall within one month. Don’t be afraid to have pride in your culture and don’t be afraid to celebrate others, either! Even as Black History Month is ending, March marks the month of Irish-American History and Women’s History, so get ready for an exciting time!

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